In preparation for a rules-evening for my local club the KWS, I’ve been reading the New Casebook 2009-2012.
As promised in this post I’m also posting a few observations on LTW:
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
When an inside overlapped windward boat that is entitled to
mark-room sails below her proper course while at the mark,
she must keep clear of the outside leeward boat, and the
outside boat may luff provided that she gives the inside boat
room to keep clear.
Summary of the Facts
Two 15-foot (3.5 m) dinghies, IW and OL, were approaching a leeward port-hand mark. IW established an inside overlap on OL well before the boats reached the zone, and OL gave IW space to sail to the mark and then to sail her proper course while at the mark. After IW passed the mark, OL 87
began to luff to her course to the next mark. IW was slower in heading up, and her boom, still well out, touched OL’s helmsman and shrouds. At the time of the contact IW was a hull length from the mark and over 45 degrees below close-hauled. No damage or injury occurred. IW protested OL under rule 18.2(b), and OL protested IW under rule 11.
The protest committee decided that, because IW did not luff to a close-hauled course while she was at the mark, she did not sail her proper course during that time. IW did not deny this but attributed it to her boom-end mainsheet rig as compared to the centre-lead rig used by OL. The protest committee dismissed IW’s protest, upheld OL’s, and disqualified IW for breaking rule 11. IW appealed.
Rule 18.2(b) required OL to give IW room to sail to the mark and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark. Clearly, between positions 1 and 2 OL gave IW room to sail to the mark. At position 2, IW was ‘at the mark’ and between positions 2 and 3 she was entitled to room to sail her proper course. Her proper course during that time was to luff onto a close-hauled course, and OL gave her room to do so. Therefore, OL did not break rule 18.2(b).
When OL luffed between positions 2 and 3, IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL, and OL was required by rule 16.1 to give her room to do so. OL luffed approximately 30 degrees while moving forward two hull lengths. Even with a boom-end mainsheet rig, a boat sailed in a seaman- like way can turn through 30 degrees and trim her mainsail appropriately
while moving forward two hull lengths. Therefore, OL gave IW room to keep clear and OL did not break rule 16.1.
OL could easily have avoided contact with IW, and so OL broke rule 14. However, she is not penalized for doing so because neither boat was damaged, nor was there any injury.
IW sailed well below her proper course; in fact she sailed a hull length
away from the mark on a course over 45 degrees below close-hauled and,
as a result, took much more space than rule 18.2(b) entitled her to take. Throughout the incident IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL. Shortly before the contact, IW broke rule 11 by failing to keep clear. It was possible for IW to have avoided the contact, and therefore IW also broke rule 14. However, because IW was entitled to mark-room and the contact resulted in neither damage nor injury, she too can not be penalized for breaking rule 14.
IW’s appeal is dismissed. The protest committee’s decision to disqualify
IW under rule 11 is upheld.
I have a question regarding IW’s infringement of rule 14. According to my understanding, once IW has passed the mark, she is no longer needing mark-room. Which is illustrated by the conclusion that she breaks rule 11 by not keeping clear. How can she be exonerated for breaking rule 14, if she’s no longer a boat entitled to mark room?
Apparently exoneration for a boat, once she is entitled to mark room, goes beyond the need for mark-room itself… perhaps until she’s left the zone?
What is your opinion?